Making new friends

Photo: IAFR’s Pastor Gatera speaking to a diverse group of pastors and people engaged in ministry among refugees in St. Cloud, MN

IAFR Board member, Pastor Brian Doten, set up a meeting with Calvary Community Church Outreach Pastor, Steve Eckert, in St. Cloud with a group of people there that are engaged in ministry among resettled refugees.

They invited Pastor Jean Pierre Gatera and I to introduce him and the work of IAFR to the group.

It was an encouraging Saturday afternoon together. There appears to be a good possibility for some ministry partnerships to grow out of the time together.

We are praying that meetings like this will help form the support team needed to partner with Pastor Gatera in his ministry. He is a remarkable leader – both gifted and experienced. I can’t wait to see him more fully released into the vision God has given him.

A time to build.

KISOM = The Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission

KISOM was established by churches in Kakuma refugee camp back in 1997. It’s 2 and 3 year programs prepare pastors, missionaries and evangelists for ministry. It has graduated over 1,000 students, many of whom are now pastoring churches in the camp and surrounding host community – and even in other countries, both in Africa and beyond. The stated mission of the school is “To reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ from Kakuma.”

Our refugee brothers and sisters have been praying for more than 2 decades that God would give them a proper school building for this important ministry. IAFR helped them purchase land for the building in 2016 (photo).

Perhaps you can imagine my joy this week when I told IAFR Finance to transfer the funds that we have raised to build the school!

Our NGO partner in Kakuma (National Council of Churches Kenya – NCCK) will work closely with our refugee partner (United Refugee and Host Churches – URHC) in both planning and constructing the school. NCCK has needed expertise and capacity that our refugee partners lack.

Many thanks to the generous IAFR financial partners who contributed a total of $70,000 for this project!

What a joy to be able to partner with God in his answer to the prayers of the refugee churches in Kakuma!

Click here to learn more about KISOM (lots of beautiful photos included).

Supporting Nicholas

Photo: Nicholas Gagai

It was with a big smile that I notified United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC), our refugee partner organisation in Kakuma refugee camp, that IAFR is able to begin assisting them with support for their full-time worker, Nicholas Gagai!

Nicholas has been serving URHC for the past 10 years with no support. His ministry responsibilities include Director of the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) and Director of Refugee Youth Ministries – both core ministries of URHC and both ministries with which IAFR closely partners with URHC.

Nicholas is originally from a city far from Kakuma. He fled to Kakuma during post election violence in Kenya back in early 2008. He quickly found his calling to serve alongside of refugee churches in Kakuma.

I’ve known Nicholas since IAFR began its work in Kakuma back in 2011. Over the years we’ve become good friends and ministry partners. It is a joy for us to partner with God in his answer to Nicholas’s prayer for a more predictable provision for his ministry.

Click here to learn more about Nicholas and his ministry in Kakuma refugee camp.

You can partner with Nicholas in his remarkable ministry! Click here to donate toward his support today!

Two new projects

The IAFR.org website is the front door of our mission. It’s where most people first meet us and discover the unique ways that we are helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up website design skills. That has been an asset to IAFR as I design and maintain our site at no cost. Nevertheless, at some point we need to find someone else to take this part of our ministry on.

Today I had the joy of adding 2 new IAFR projects to our website.

NICHOLAS GAGAI – STRATEGIC WORKER (Kakuma)

Photo: Nicholas Gagai

The first project invites people and churches to consider supporting our first “strategic worker” – a Kenyan serving full-time with our refugee partner agency, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC). I’ve known Nicholas Gagai since IAFR began working in Kakuma refugee camp (2011).For $375/month, he can be fully supported. Click here to learn more about him and the opportunity of supporting his work through IAFR.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REFUGEE SCHOLARSHIPS (Kakuma)

Photo: 3 of the 5 girls learn about their scholarships in Kakuma (4/2018)

In January, National Presbyterian Church (Washington D.C.) asked us if we would partner with them to scholarship 5 refugee girls through secondary school in Kenya. They were ready to commit the funds ($5,500 per girl for 4 years of secondary school).

While IAFR has invested in educational scholarships in Dzaleka refugee camp (Malawi), we had not yet done so in Kakuma (Kenya). After consulting with our NGO partner, National Council of Churches Kenya, we were ready to commit.

I’m praying that God would move people to commit to sponsoring another 5 girls through secondary school by April 2019.

Click here to learn more about this new scholarship opportunity.